Nowruz- one of the grand celebrations of Afghanistan this year had a muted experience. The celebration which has historical recordings dating back to 3000 BC is always accompanied by youths cheering in the streets and sweets getting distributed to neighborhoods.
This year the ancient Nowruz festival is giving meager income to all those striving in the streets and small businessmen. They consider this as a descent of God’s punishment to all the sins and conspiracies human mind brews. Abdul Razaq, an aged man owning a rickshaw uses his vehicle to alert all who hires his services,”God in his holy book has urged people to refrain from sin. Our bad deeds will be punished. The coronavirus is God’s punishment,” he says.
Herat, the western Afghanistan city, close to the country’s border with Iran, has been on the front line of the pandemic and saw its first coronavirus case towards the end of February. But unlike Iran, the homebound people of Afghanistan have not let the pandemic enter its second stage, till now.